WGAR News: Yolngu Nations Assembly Statement concerning 'Stronger Futures' laws and NT policies

Newsletter date: 4 May 2012

* Yolngu Nations Assembly Statement
* Pro Bono: Is Income Management Working?
* Sydney launch of "NT Consultations Report 2011: By Quotations" - 4 May 2012
* Background to 'Stronger Futures' new NT Intervention laws
* Background to the Northern Territory (NT) Intervention
* Northern Murray-Darling Basin Aboriginal Nations (NBAN) website
* Murray Lower Darling Rivers Indigenous Nations (MLDRIN) website
* Video: Uncle Kevin Buzzacott at the Federal Court's decision
* Michael Anderson: Gomeroi activism stops Woolworths in Moree ...
* Background to the Aboriginal sovereignty movement
* Tracker: Police Integrity Commission won’t investigate Kings Cross shootings
* Congress: Justice in prevention, early intervention and diversion
* Other articles


- The Statement

'concerned Australians': http://concernedaustralians.com.au/media/Stronger_Futures_Statement_Yoln...

Rollback the Intervention: http://rollbacktheintervention.files.wordpress.com/2012/04/yolngu-nation...

Stand for Freedom: http://standforfreedom.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/Yolngu-Nations-...

Aboriginal Catholic Ministry Sydney: https://acmsydney.files.wordpress.com/2012/05/yolngu-nations-assembly-st...

Indigenous Peoples: http://indigenouspeoplesissues.com/attachments/article/14838/YolnguNatio...

Green Left: http://www.greenleft.org.au/node/50893

'concerned Australians': Yolŋuw Makarr Dhuni (Yolŋu Nations Assembly)
"Statement regarding Australian Federal Government Stronger Futures Bills and Northern Territory Policies, to the Leaders of the Australian Federal and Northern Territory Parliaments"

- Related Audio Interviews

The Wire: NT Elders ready to fight against 'Stronger Futures' legislation
Produced by Lisa Burns
2 May 12: "NT Elders are fighting back against the Federal Government's so-called 'Stronger Futures' legislation which is currently before the senate. The law is the next phase of the intervention and covers areas such as health, education, housing and drug and alcohol issues in Indigenous communities. It comes after what the Federal Government describes as wide-spread consultation with Indigenous communities. But Yolngu Elders dispute the Government's take on the discussions and the outcomes of the talks - they’ve released a statement from eight Arnhem land nations calling for the 'Stronger Futures' laws to be dumped.
Featured in story: Rev. Dr. Djiniyini Gondarra OAM, Senior Dhurili Clan leader of the Yolngu peoples of Northeast Arnhem Land"

ABC Radio National RN Drive: Arnhem Land threatens revolt against Federal intervention legislation
Produced by Erica Vowles
2 May 12: "Opposition to the intervention is growing within the Arnhem Land of the Northern Territory, with a group representing eight Indigenous nations releasing a statement today, protesting against the intervention and the related stronger futures legislation. The Yolngu Nations Assembly was formed last year and represents eight nations in the West, Central and East Arnhem Land. ... One of the spokespeople behind the Yolngu Nations Assembly is Dr Reverend Djiniyini Gondara. He's originally from the Apple Tree Island Community in Arnhem Land and spoke to us from Darwin.
Guests: Dr Djiniyini Gondarra
Spokesperson for the Yolngu Nations Assembly Djiniyini Gondara. Dr Gondarra is originally from the Apple Tree Island Community in Arnham Land."

Central Australian Aboriginal Media Association:
CAAMA Radio News 03/05/2012
3 May 12: "Eight nations of Aboriginal people in the Northern Territory have rejected the Federal Governments Stronger futures legislation in a strongly worded statement calling for a partnership based on self determination."
[Includes comments by Rev Dr Djiniyini Gondarra.]

Indigenous radio station 98.9FM Brisbane:
Paddy Gibson - 2 May 2012
Listen to this interview on-line:
[Paddy discusses the Yolngu Nations Assembly statement about 18 minutes into this program.]

- Related Media Releases

'concerned Australians':
Initiative and Ability to Listen - but - a Change is Desperately Needed
2 May 12: "Today the Yolngu Nations Assembly sent a statement to the Prime Minister Julia Gillard, and Opposition leader Tony Abbott. It was also sent to other senior politicians in the Federal and Northern Territory governments, calling for a changed approach to policy in the Northern Territory.
The Yolngu Nations Assembly is made up of 8 Nations from West, Central and East Arnhem Land.
The Yolngu Nations Assembly statement clearly informs Government that it does not support the proposed Stronger Futures legislation. It has stated that it believe its aims and those of Government can be achieved through partnerships in communities and based on the principles of self-determination.
‘concerned Australians' acknowledges this statement and gives its full support to it.
Spokesperson, Michele Harris, states that, " 'concerned Australians' joins with the Yolngu Nations Assembly, other social justice organisations and leading Australians, in calling for an end to the interventionist policies of the last five years. ... ""

Secretariat of National Aboriginal and Islander Child Care (SNAICC)
2 May 12: "SNAICC stands in solidarity with the Yolnuw Makarr Dhuni (Yolnu Nations Assembly) of Western, Central and East Arnhem Land.
The Yolnu Nations have called on the Senate to discard in full the Stronger Futures package of bills that, if enacted, would extend the intervention in Northern Territory Aboriginal communities for 10 years.
SNAICC agrees with this unambiguous position.
In our submission to the Senate Community Affairs Legislation Committee, SNAICC recommended that the legislation be completely redeveloped in accordance with international human rights laws to which Australia is bound.
Some of the basic human rights that SNAICC considers are not fully reflected in the Stronger Futures bills are the right to self-determination and the right for communities to give their free, prior and informed consent to measures that may affect them.
These are the same principles that the Yol?u Nations are asking the Australian and Northern Territory governments to uphold - and to work in meaningful partnership with Aboriginal communities to arrive at effective long-term solutions."

St Vincent de Paul Society National Council:
St Vincent de Paul Society respectfully supports Yolngu Elders
3 May 12: "St Vincent de Paul Society National Council CEO, Dr John Falzon, issued the following statement in response to the Statement released this morning by Elders of the Yolngu Nations Assembly in Arnhem Land:
"The Elders of the Yolngu Nations Assembly today issued an historical statement regarding the Australian Government’s Stronger Futures Bills.
"Their words are born from a strong and positive vision for Australia.
"All of us, especially those elected as legislators, have a duty to listen to these words and to take heed of their rejection of the Stronger Futures Bills. ...
"The St Vincent de Paul Society respectfully acknowledges and supports the Statement of the Elders of the Yolngu Nations Assembly and calls on the Australian Government to do likewise.""

- Related News

Stand for Freedom: Yolngu Nations Statement to the Australian Government
2 May 12: "The Yolŋu Makarr Dhuni, an assembly of eight nations representing 8,000 Aboriginal people in the Western, Central and East Arnhem Land areas of the Northern Territory, have issued a formal statement rejecting the Federal Government’s Stronger Futures legislation. In the Statement, the Yolŋu Assembly also call on all NT Traditional Owners to refuse to participate in land lease negotiations and approval of exploration licenses until the Government throws out the Stronger Futures legislation. ... "

newsTracker: Scrap Stronger Futures: Yolngu nation
2 May 12: "NATIONAL: Aboriginal leaders from Arnhem Land communities have threatened a revolt against the federal government’s Stronger Futures laws by refusing to participate in land lease negotiations or give the nod to mining exploration licences. ... A group of traditional owners representing 8000 people in west, central and east Arnhem Land have written to the Prime Minister, Indigenous affairs minister, Opposition Leader, senators and NT government calling for the Stronger Futures laws to be scrapped."

Koori Mail: Yolngu leaders call for scrapping of Stronger Futures
[scroll down page] http://www.koorimail.com/
2 May 12: "ABORIGINAL leaders from Arnhem Land have warned they will refuse to approve mining exploration leases and participate in land lease negotiations unless the Federal Government scraps its proposed Stronger Futures legislation. Dr Djiniyini Gondarra, spokesperson for a group representing 8000 Yolgnu people, also called for an end to compulsory teaching in English, and more recognition for Homelands."

SMH: Fraser backs Aboriginal anger over laws
2 May 12: "Former Liberal prime minister Malcolm Fraser has backed Aboriginal leaders from Arnhem Land threatening to revolt against the federal government's Stronger Futures laws. Labor's Stronger Futures draft laws are before the Senate and likely to pass with bipartisan support after federal parliament resumes in May. A group of traditional owners, Yolngu Nations Assembly, representing 8000 people in west, central and east Arnhem Land, have written to the prime minister, indigenous affairs minister, opposition leader, senators and NT government ... "

ACM Sydney: Yolŋu Nations reject "Stronger Futures"
2 May 12: "The Yolŋu Makarr Dhuni, an assembly of eight nations in the Western, Central and East Arnhem Land areas of the Northern Territory, have released a statement rejecting the Federal Government’s Stronger Futures legislation. Graeme Mundine, Executive Officer of the Aboriginal Catholic Ministry, Sydney Archdiocese has welcomed the statement. Mr Mundine said "The statement by the Yolŋu Nations Assembly cannot be any clearer. The Yolŋu have consistently asked for partnership and self-determination, not intervention and discrimination."

Uniting Church of Australia ASSEMBLY
Federal Government should heed Yolngu voices
2 May 12: "The Uniting Church in Australia has welcomed a statement by the Yolngu Nations Assembly that rejects any further extension of the Northern Territory Intervention. "The best and only way forward for Indigenous Australians is through genuine partnerships between communities and all levels of Government," said President of the Uniting Church in Australia's National Assembly Rev. Alistair Macrae. "When self-determination is side-lined any progress for our First Peoples is an illusion.""

CathNews: Church opposes Stronger Futures draft laws for NT
2 May 12: "The Catholic Church has joined with Aboriginal leaders in opposing the Federal Government's draft Stronger Futures laws, reports SBS. "The Yolngu Nations are clearly stating they have had enough of being pressured to agree to things that are negatively impacting their communities," Sydney Archdiocese Aboriginal Catholic Ministry spokesman Graeme Mundine said. The laws, currently before the Senate, continue the former Howard government's Northern Territory intervention introduced in 2007 to address violence and alcohol abuse in Aboriginal communities."

Canberra Times: Yolngu people to take court action against intervention
2 May 12: "Leaders representing 8000 Aboriginal people will today launch a campaign against federal government intervention in the Northern Territory. The statement to be issued by the Yolngu Nations Assembly representing Arnhem Land people will call on traditional leaders to refuse approval for exploration licences. Spokesman Djungadjunga Yunupingu said his people initially thought intervention would help. ''But now our experience is that it has not been beneficial,'' he said." Ross Peake


- News

Pro Bono: Is Income Management Working? Parliamentary Library Analysis
3 May 12: "An analysis of the Federal Government’s controversial Income Management Scheme has found that any positive changes delivered so far have been 'uneven and fragile'. Overall, the analysis highlights the absence of adequate evidence to prove the effectiveness or otherwise of the scheme. Researchers, Luke Buckmaster and Carol Ey from the Federal Parliamentary Library Social Policy Section have produced a Background Note called, Is income management working?, which provides a guide to the evidence about the efficacy of income management."


- Media Statement

‘concerned Australians':
Sydney launch of "NT Consultations Report 2011: By Quotations"
3 May 12: "Graeme Mundine and Amy McQuire will launch NT Consultations Report 2011: By Quotations on Friday the 4th May in Chippendale.
A sequel to the highly regarded publications This is What We Said and Walk With Us this book gives voice to the views of Aboriginal people living under the Northern Territory Intervention. Between June and August 2011 the Australian Government conducted Stronger Futures Consultations in Northern Territory communities. These were held with the stated purpose of finding out what worked and what didn't work under the Northern Territory Emergency Response (NTER), commonly called the Intervention. ...
This event is organised by ‘concerned Australians'. The full transcripts have also been made public at www.concernedaustralians.com.au .
Date: Friday, 4 May 2012 Time: 5.30 for 6.00pm start
Venue: Amnesty International's NSW Action Centre, Level 1, 79 Myrtle Street, Chippendale"

- Upcoming event

Event: Fri 4 May 2012: Chippendale, Sydney, NSW
Sydney Book Launch:
"NT Consultations Report 2011: By Quotations"
Launched by:
* Graeme Mundine,
Executive Officer, ACM Sydney Archdiocese
* Amy McQuire, Editor, Tracker Magazine
"Beautifully illustrated, this hard-backed book
gives voice to the views of Aboriginal people
living under the Intervention."
Published by ‘concerned Australians': http://www.concernedaustralians.com.au/
Invitation: http://stoptheintervention.org/uploads/files_to_download/concerned-Austr...
Event details: http://whatson.cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au/events/14010-sydney-book-launch-n...
Event details: http://sydney-central.whereilive.com.au/events/story/sydney-book-launch-...
Event details: [scroll down page] http://stoptheintervention.org/facts/films-and-literature/book-nt-consul...
Event details: http://www.respectandlisten.org/
Event details: http://www.amnesty.org.au/nsw/event/28475/
Event details and article: http://www.greenleft.org.au/node/50877
Event details: http://indymedia.org.au/special-sydney-book-launch-of-the-highly-importa...
Book review: http://stoptheintervention.org/uploads/files_to_download/concerned-Austr...
Short Book review: http://stoptheintervention.org/uploads/files_to_download/concerned-Austr...
Book order form: http://stoptheintervention.org/uploads/files_to_download/concerned-Austr...


Last updated: 3 May 2012



Last updated: 29 April 2012



- The Website

Who we are - Northern Murray-Darling Basin Aboriginal Nations
"NBAN is an independent self-determining Traditional Owner based organisation with a primary focus on cultural and natural resource management in the northern Murray–Darling Basin.
We seek greater recognition and respect for Aboriginal knowledge and cultural values and uses regarding land and water management in the northern Murray–Darling Basin.
NBAN currently has representatives from the following Nations:
Barkindji (Paakantyi), Githabul, Mandandanji, Barunggam, Gunggari, Mardigan, Bidjara, Jarowair, Murrawarri, Bigambul, Gwamu, (Kooma), Ngemba, Budjiti, Kunja, Ngiyampaa, Euahlayi, Kambuwal, Kwiambul, Wailwan, Gamilaroi, Maljangapa, and Wakka Wakka."

- Homepage

Northern Murray-Darling Basin Aboriginal Nations

- Related Audio Interview

3CR Community Radio 855 AM - Podcasts
[scroll down page] http://www.3cr.org.au/podcast
Earth Matters - 30 Apr 2012
[download this program] http://pod.3cr.org.au/pod/3CRCast-2012-04-29-94126.mp3
30 Apr 12: "Twenty one Original Nations in New South Wales and Queensland have united to reclaim control over the water flows in the northern river basin. The Chairperson of the Northern Murray Darling Basin Aboriginal Nations, Fred Hooper (Murrawarri traditional custodian), says Original Peoples never gave up their sovereignty over the basin in the first place - and are calling for it to be Returned."


Sovereignty claimed over Murray-Darling rivers
Sovereign Union: http://nationalunitygovernment.org/content/sovereignty-claimed-over-murr...

WGAR News: Aboriginal Nations assert sovereignty over the Northern Murray Darling Basin (19 Apr 12)


- The Website

About us - Murray Lower Darling Rivers Indigenous Nations
"There are some 75,000 Indigenous peoples in the Murray Darling Basin and most of these people are traditional owners that belong to some 40 autonomous Indigenous Nations.
The Murray Lower Darling Rivers Indigenous Nations (MLDRIN) is a confederation of Indigenous Nations or traditional owners in the lower southern part of the Murray Darling Basin.
The group currently compromises of delegates from the Wiradjuri, Yorta Yorta, Taungurung, Barapa Barapa, Wamba Wamba, Mutti Mutti, Wadi Wadi, Latji Latji, Wergaia and Ngarrindjeri Nations."

- Homepage

Murray Lower Darling Rivers Indigenous Nations


- Video

YouTube: Uncle Kevin Buzzacott At The Federal Court's Decision 20 April 2012
24 Apr 12: "Uncle Kevin Buzzacott At The Federal Court South Australia On the Day Of Their Judgement 20 April 2012"

- Related Audio

3CR Community Radio 855 AM - Podcasts
[scroll down page] http://www.3cr.org.au/podcast
Radioactive Show - 29 Apr 2012
[download this program] http://pod.3cr.org.au/pod/3CRCast-2012-04-28-94028.mp3
29 Apr 12: "How road workers found suspected radioactive material during a highway upgrade south of Port Macquarie dumped there after a 1980 transport accident and what it signifies for Muckaty, plus Lizards Revenge [Olympic Dam expansion festival/protest] coming SOON!"


WGAR News: "Court throws out Olympic Dam challenge" ABC PM (22 Apr 12)

WGAR News: Olympic Dam expansion music/art/festival/protest
[scroll down page] http://indymedia.org.au/2012/04/22/wgar-news-court-throws-out-olympic-da...


- Media Release

Gomeroi activism stops Woolworths in Moree as Aboriginal nations mobilise across Australia
Sovereign Union: http://nationalunitygovernment.org/content/gomeroi-activism-stops-woolwo...
Treaty Republic: http://treatyrepublic.net/content/gomeroi-activism-stops-woolworths-more...
"Gomeroi representatives at Moree in northwest NSW can proudly boast a victory against a big transnational corporate development: Woolworths.
It's been announced that the Woolworths chain are withdrawing their proposed development and expansion of the network stores in Moree.
Woolworths are withdrawing because of the Gomeroi's steadfast opposition to the store's expansion, which would have seen a Rugby League oval demolished and a significant Gomeroi cultural site, where human remains have been located, totally disturbed and possibly destroyed.
The opposition has been led by Gomeroi Elder Lyell Munro Senior, who vehemently opposed the development approval by the Moree Shire Council. ...
Aboriginal sovereign nations are mobilising and it has been announced that on 24 May 2012 an interim Aboriginal National Unity Government will be announced.
Furthermore, Aboriginal nations around Australia are mobilising. ... " by Michael Anderson

- Related News

Koori Mail: No Big W for Moree
[scroll down page] http://www.koorimail.com/index.php
1 May 12: "MOREE Aboriginal community representatives are celebrating a decision by Woolworths to scrap plans to build a Big W store on top of a listed Aboriginal burial site in the northern NSW town. In 2009, the Murri Taskforce proved in court that the NSW Government failed to protect Aboriginal cultural heritage when it sold Taylors Oval to Woolworths, despite it being a registered site. The supermarket chain has now pulled out of the development, citing concerns about its financial viability and retail sector uncertainty. Local Aboriginal man Lyall Munro described the announcement as 'a big achievement'. Lyall Munro: "We stood up to a lot of powerful people, took them on and won.""


Sovereign Union: Moree Sovereign Embassy

Facebook: Goomeroi Sovereign Tent Embassy

Let's Talk: Live from Moree Tent Embassy, NSW
23 Apr 11: http://www.989fm.com.au/podcasts/lets-talk/live-from-moree-tent-embassy-...
24 Apr 11: http://www.989fm.com.au/podcasts/lets-talk/live-from-moree-tent-embassy-...

Sovereign Union: Interim National Unity Government Assembly - 23 & 24 May 2012 - Wollongong, NSW


Last updated: 30 April 2012



- News

newsTracker: Police Integrity Commission won’t investigate Kings Cross shootings
2 May 12: "NATIONAL: An independent police watchdog says it will not conduct an investigation into the shooting of two Aboriginal teenagers in Kings Cross, stating the NSW Police Force are best placed to probe the incident. The two teenagers, aged 14 and 18, were shot by police after the stolen car they were driving mounted the footpath in the busy nightclub district, pinning a woman, aged 29, under its wheels. ... NSW Greens Justice spokesperson David Shoebridge wrote to the Police Integrity Commission earlier this month, calling on an independent investigation into police actions." Amy McQuire, a Darumbal and South Sea Islander woman, and editor of Tracker

- Related News

National Indigenous Radio Service: Group calls for haste in setting up investigation of police
2 May 12: "A Sydney-based community organisation has called for no delay in the establishment of an independent investigation into police actions after an incident in Sydney's Kings Cross. About a fortnight ago, two Aboriginal teenagers were shot by police after stealing a car and running over a woman in the busy social precinct and footage shows an officer then bashing one of the young men. Director of the Sydney Peace Foundation, Dr. Arthur Chesterfield-Evans, says an external inquiry must be objective."


WGAR News: Ray Jackson, ISJA: NSW police 'too deadly'! (26 Apr 12)
[scroll down page] http://indymedia.org.au/2012/04/26/wgar-news-frontier-wars-remembered-on...

WGAR News: "I feared I was going to die" National Indigenous Times exclusive (1 May 12)


- Media Release

National Congress of Australia’s First Peoples:
Justice in prevention, early intervention and diversion
2 May 12: "Today’s launch of the Justice Reinvestment Campaign for Aboriginal young people highlights again that prevention, early intervention and diversion are the keys to building safe communities and reducing over-representation of Aboriginal people in the criminal justice system.
Congress Co-Chair Les Malezer said the failure to close the gap in the over-representation of Aboriginal people in the juvenile justice system shows that current strategies are ineffectual.
"The national rate of detention of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children in juvenile justice is 28 times that of non-Aboriginal people," he said."

- Related News

SMH: Bold steps needed to keep Aborigines out of jail
2 May 12: "THE NSW Governor, Marie Bashir, former High Court judge Michael Kirby and former state attorney-general Bob Debus are among a high-profile group calling for tens of millions of dollars to be diverted from the juvenile justice system each year into prevention to stem the ''shameful'' high rate of jailed young Aborigines. Aboriginal youths are 28 times more likely to end up in detention, at a cost of $230,000 a year a person, NSW Justice Department figures show. Mr Kirby said the criminal justice approach had ''failed'' both Aboriginal people and the wider community."

National Indigenous Radio Service: Campaign for justice reinvestment strategies gaining legs
2 May 12: "A group of high-profile Indigenous rights advocates have spoken out against high levels of Indigenous youth imprisonment and called for to governments change policy. Professor of Criminology at James Cook University in north Queensland, Chris Cunneen, says the Justice Reinvestment Campaign will highlight the issues facing young Aboriginal people. ... Mr. Cunneen says a major issue is how governments are wasting money on the prison system."


- News

Courier Mail: Father, Musgrave Park Sovereign Tent Embassy in protest
2 May 12: "THE father of a 13-year-old indigenous girl who died in State care last month, together with the Musgrave Park Sovereign Tent Embassy, this afternoon protested outside the Brisbane office of the Minister of Child Safety. About 10 uniformed police officers stood guard in front of the George St office's glass doors. Tent Embassy's Peter Skuthorpe said the group had been at the building since 11am. Glen Gray, the girl's father, said he wants to meet with Minister Tracy Davis to seek "justice" for his recently deceased daughter."

National Indigenous Radio Service: Brisbane Tent Embassy keeps fire burning
1 May 12: "A spokesperson for the Aboriginal Tent Embassy in Brisbane says keeping the struggle for Indigenous sovereignty alive and engaging the wider community on a grassroots level are its key objectives. Wayne Wharton says the Embassy wants constitutional recognition of sovereign Aboriginal rights within Australia and more action to reduce Indigenous deaths in custody. Mr. Wharton says the group is also opposed to the planned extension of the Northern Territory Intervention."

- - -

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'WGAR News' monitors the media, including alternative media, focusing on:

* the Australian Federal government intervention into Northern Territory (NT) Aboriginal communities;
* the Aboriginal sovereignty movement and tent embassies;
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WGAR: Working Group for Aboriginal Rights (Australia)
WGAR Website: http://wgar.wordpress.com/